Business in Focus: New Belgium Brewing

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

NewBelgiumBrewingOn December 29, 2012, employees at New Belgium Brewing started getting more than a paycheck. They got a 100% ownership stake in the company, and even more reason to be stewards in its success.

Today, over 750 employees of the Fort Collins, CO, based brewer participate in the company’s 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). They also get to take advantage of an on-site gym, climbing wall, volleyball courts, and one hour of paid time off for every two hours of volunteer work.

With all the time for play and volunteering, you may think that doesn’t leave much time for work. In fact, employee Bryan Simpson reported just the opposite.

In an article for Outside Online, Simpson said, “New Belgium is the kind of place where you walk through the front door, high-five your co-workers all the way to your desk/lab/machine, and laugh out loud all throughout the day. At the same time, you’re working harder than you ever have at anything else, and it somehow means more. That’s a powerful alchemy.”

NewBelgiumCultureThat alchemy has been documented. Studies conducted by Harvard Business School Professor Francesco Gino found that when employees feel a stronger sense of ownership, they are more inclined to engage in generally helpful behaviors. What’s more, these behaviors extend outside of the workplace.

That may explain why a group of New Belgium co-workers have logged more than 16,700 volunteer hours in the past six years. Did we mention the free beer?

To learn more about New Belgium’s culture, click here.




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